HarvardNet Attains DSL Milestone

New England-based digital subscriber line provider HarvardNet Inc. Wednesday reached a
milestone when it successfully installed its 200th connection to Bell Atlantic Corp.
central office facilities.

The achievement part of its program, dubbed “Operation Bigfoot,” to connect
with 615 central offices by mid-2001. The data carrier provides backbone
services, business-class Web hosting, and virtual private network access to
most parts of the mid-Atlantic, including New York, Philadelphia, and
Washington, D.C.

HarvardNet is one of the leading providers of DSL in New England, running
its services through 160 central offices. It launched New York City
services when it enabled 40 central offices this week. The firm intends to
eventually offer high-speed synchronous digital subscriber line service
from 235 central offices in the New York metro area within a year.

Mark Washburn, HarvardNet president and chief executive officer, said it is
part of its commitment to providing quality support for their business

“The demand for business-class DSL and broadband virtual private network
services is exploding as businesses look for ways to extend the corporate
network to branch offices, remote workers, and telecommuters,” Washburn

“HarvardNet recognizes that a rapid, deep deployment of DSL service
in major metropolitan areas will be the overriding factor for maintaining a
leadership position in this highly competitive market.”

By entering into the high-speed Internet and services arena, HarvardNet
faces competition from national-level carriers such as Covad Communications Inc. , Northpoint
, and Broadwing Inc.

Jim Wahl, HarvardNet DSL product manager, said the key to success in this
highly contested area of the country, which owns between 25 and 38 percent
of Internet traffic nationwide, is to have a focused approach.

“Companies like Northpoint operate nationally. By focusing on the
Northeast, we have the opportunity to deepen our reach and provide a higher
level of support,” Wahl said.

Wahl said it usually takes 25 days to set up DSL, and in that time the
company would make an average of eight phone calls to the customer. He
said that’s a level of support that national high-speed access providers
just can’t rival.

HarvardNet is the beneficiary of two large investments over the past eight
months, which put $190 million in their coffers.

The first equity investment came in December 1999, from a group of
investors including The Sturm Group, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s
Vulcan Ventures, and others, totaling about $70 million. Cisco Systems Inc.
doled out $120 million in debt financing deal done with HarvardNet in April.

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